For a puppy to mature into a friendly, confident adult dog, he or she must be exposed to many different people, animals, experiences and places. Your puppy should have a variety of interesting experiences, and every new experience should be treated as a fun, new adventure. Your puppy needs to bond with you, so that they trust you to lead the way in these new situations that are potentially frightening to a young puppy. From the time a puppy is 8 weeks old, until she is 16 weeks old, is the ideal time to introduce your puppy to new people, animals, places and experiences.
This includes giving her a first bath, trimming her nails so she doesn't mind you touching her paws. And invite young children, who are gentle, to interact with your puppy under close supervision. If you are a woman, living alone, introduce your puppy to friendly men, especially those in uniform. Begin leash and collar training, most puppies do not like being led by a leash at first, so make it a game and reward them for following you.
But one of the best things you can do for your puppy is help her to learn how to play with other dogs. Many dog training facilities offer Puppy Kindergarten classes, where puppies can play and interact with each other in a safe environment with supervision by trainers.
There is a checklist of things/people you should introduce to your puppy before he or she is 16 weeks old.
People of different ethnicities
Men with deep voices
Men with beards
People in uniforms
People wearing hats
People wearing hoodies
People with canes, walkers or crutches
People in wheelchairs
Dogs who play well with others
horses and livestock
standing on a table, for examination
snow (if possible)
knocking on the door
ringing the door bell
Things with wheels
stores (like Petco/Petsmart
The idea is to expose your puppy to as many new things, in a fun and positive way, as possible. This will help to prevent your adult dog from reacting with fear or aggression. After all, you could have a dog who never leaves the house/yard and is afraid of strangers or other animals. Or you could have a dog that can go anywhere with you, and who thinks each new experience is an adventure. Which would you want? Kori is very happy that we took her to puppy socialization classes as a puppy, you can see it when you watch her visit Doggie Daycare with my daughter. It's up to you!